The Nigerian government says it has spent N6.2 billion to provide free meal for primary school pupils in 14 States in the nation.
The government said the gesture was in fulfillment of it’s plan to ramp up the Social Investment Programmes, SIP, this year.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President, in a statement said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was now close to its target of feeding three million primary school children this year under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, one of its four ongoing SIP schemes.
“Specifically, at the last count, a total of N6,204,912,889 has been paid out to 14 states during the school year ending August 2017. The 14 states that have been covered under the School Feeding programme are Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.
“So far, a total of 2,827,501 school children are currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme, which is well on course to achieve the Federal Government’s projection to feed over three million pupils this year. In total, 33,895 cooks have been engaged in the communities where the schools are located across the 14 states,” the statement said.
A breakdown of the payment showed that Anambra State received a total of N693,013,300, while a total of 103,742 children have been fed thus far, with 1,009 cooks paid. Enugu state got a total of N 571,877,400 and 108,898 children have been fed so far, with 1,276 cooks paid.
In Oyo state, a total of N490,296,800 was released by the FG for the feeding of 107,983 children, with 1.372 cooks engaged. Osun State received a total of N1,000,394,888 for the feeding of 151,438 children. A total of 2,863 cooks were engaged in the state.
Similarly, Ogun State received a total of and N1,042,217,400 for the feeding of 231,660 schoolchildren, while a total of 2,205 cooks were paid. For Ebonyi State, a total of N344,633,100 has been released for the feeding of 163,137 pupils so far, with a total of 1,453 cooks paid.
In the same vein, Zamfara State received a total of N402,295,600 for the feeding of 107,347 schoolchildren, while 1,127 cooks were engaged. Delta State received a total of N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils. A total of 1,364 cooks were engaged in the state.
Abia and Benue States received a total of N128,763,600 and N337,157,800 respectively to feed a total of 61,316 and 240,827 pupils respectively. In Abia state, a total of 750 cooks were engaged, while 3,344 cooks were paid in Benue state.
Similarly, Plateau and Bauchi States received a total of N133,187,600 and N214,909,101 for the feeding of a total of 95,134 and 307,013 pupils respectively in the states. Also, 1,418 cooks have so far been engaged in Plateau state, with 3,261 in Bauchi state.
For Taraba State, a total of N120,284,500 was paid and 171,835 pupils have thus far been fed, with a total of 2,596 cooks paid.
Kaduna state received a total of N499,985,500 while 835,508 pupils have been fed so far. Also, a total of 9,857 cooks were paid under the programme in the state.
More States and primary school pupils across the country are expected to benefit from the feeding programme by the time schools reopen next month for a new session.